In the late 1960s and early 1970s, there was a move to make people aware of the health hazards associated with smoking cigarettes. Among these health hazards were heart disease, emphysema, and cancer. In order to make cigarettes healthier for smokers and to combat further government intervention into the industry, cigarette manufacturers inserted filters on one end of the cigarette. These filters kept some of the tars and nicotine from being inhaled by the consumer. The filters, then, made the cigarette marginally “safer”. (Clark)
In creating these filters, however, the cigarette industry created an entirely new problem for the world. Cigarettes cause many problems for health, but we already knew that. Not many people think about the effect they have on the environment. People believe that they are not harming anything because a cigarette butt is so small. “With the flick of a butt, far reaching, devastating consequences can occur, or absolutely nothing can happen.” (EcoGreenBags) There are, however, some things in the cigarette filter inside of the cigarette butt that are not biodegradable, so a part of each cigarette butt will remain forever. Cigarette butts thrown out of car windows are also the leading cause of litter, creating millions of pounds of trash. (Mulch)
Once a cigarette butt is thrown out of a car window, there are a few different paths it may take.
If a cigarette butt is not properly put out, it may burn for up to three more hours. This is the leading cause of forest fires and bush fires. (Alipio)
Once a cigarette is released from a car window, it could travel down through the sewer, and from there, out to rivers, streams, and eventually out to the ocean. Fish easily mistake cigarette ...
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Mulch, Brain, and Ryan David Kennedy. "Smokin' Diva." Alternatives Journal. 38.1 (2012): 6. Print.
Register, Kathleen . "Cigarette Butts as Litter—Toxic as Well as Ugly." Underwater Naturalist. 25.2 (2000): n. page. Web. 26 Mar. 2012. .